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Keep The Relief Effort Going:
Fam trips to jumpstart Sri Lanka tourism
Sze Toh Yuin Munn, Singapore

Sze Toh Yuin Munn, Singapore  
(26th Jan 2005)

IN the first two weeks of February, SriLankan Airlines, working together with Sri Lanka Tourist Board and Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts, will bring fifteen Singapore-based travel agents to the country in three separate fam trips.

The airline's manager for Singapore and Indonesia, Mr Johann Wijesinghe, said the airline understood the importance for travel agents to look at the grounds first before they sold the destination. Already there are small individual groups travelling to the country, he said.

At a media briefing held recently in Singapore, officials presented the latest information on the country after the tsunami.

A US$320 million campaign Bounce Back Sri Lanka is to be used for the “international marketing and promotion of unique tourism attractions unaffected by the tsunami” where US$195 million is to be set aside for reconstructing tourist facilities. US$120 million will be set aside for resettling beachside communities.

To help the hotel and travel industry duty, waivers will also be offered although figures have yet to be thrown up. SriLankan Airlines head of corporate communications, Mr Chandana De Silva, said: “We have lots to offer other than the beach.”

To encourage travellers to revisit the country, the airlines now have special packages to the country's cultural hotspots. Priced from S$688 onwards, the packages are valid to February 28.

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